Victims of car theft are well aware of the rise in the theft of vehicles from the nation's driveways. When you've suffered the misery and inconvenience of car theft, you soon discover this is happening all over the country on a daily basis, so you're not on your own.
So why haven't the media been highlighting it and what can we do to try and make sure it never happens to us again?
Is keyless entry to blame?
Keyless entry may well be the main reason for this increase, but year on year we never hear from the so-called industry experts as to why this technology is to blame or how it could be improved.
The media generally reports the more serious car crimes, but when does anyone really give you any proper advice on how to prevent it from happening to you?
What are the Police and the manufacturers doing about it?
The Police will advise that we all go out and buy ourselves's a steering lock and install some CCTV at a great expense, but these security measures are all old hat and have really done nothing to reduce the rise in vehicle theft and most definitely will not stop the car thief driving off down the road in your pride and joy.
The manufacturers will argue that the cars they are producing are all secure and have been designed with the latest technology to help combat the threat of vehicle theft. They will spout on about the wonders of keyless entry and how convenient it is for their customers but we suspect there is another reason why they believe in it so much.
We can sell them a car, and they'll be back next week!
So you've just collected your new car and are full of beans. This is your day to show everyone you are a success. You may have worked hard and saved hard to be in this position and have been told by your trusty dealer that everything will be OK and that you new car will be safe on your driveway.
You may not have given it a lot of thought before you drove away, but little do you know that your car has already been targetted and the car thief will have followed you home to check where you park it.
They already have the tools and the knowledge to remove your car in a heartbeat, and before you know it, your on to your insurance company to report the theft and they, in turn, will be arranging for you to collect another car in a few weeks from the same dealer!!
So who's the winner in all this? you don't need to tell me, I already know.
This revolving door is a lottery and may well be a collaboration of some kind between the dealerships and the insurance companies, because as we all know money talks.
In the past, we have approached dealerships to offer them our services at a discounted rate. Foolishly, we thought they may be interested in offering their customers the option to have a telescopic bollard supplied and fitted on their driveway as a free promotion.
The cost could have been built into the sale price of the vehicle or it could have been absorbed by the dealer because it would have been a deal-breaker.
So rather than dismissing the fact that some of their customers were concerned about losing their car, they could have quickly put their minds at ease by offering them this solution.
What an offer that would have been! What would you rather have...a steering wheel cover and some fancy gadget or a spanking new high-security telescopic bollard supplied and installed so your car is safe at night?
Change will take time.
These are difficult times for the vehicle industry, so if there was a way to make another sale and then blame someone else for your misfortune, why would they rush to fix the problem with keyless entry?
Technology will change for sure, either for the better or worse, but one thing you can be sure of is that the car thieves will respond to any new technology and find a way to compromise it.
So when will things change? At the moment the problem will continue to get worse, although there are some manufacturers who are taking heed of the problem and have actively tried to address the issue.
We know first hand how much distress this causes for people from all over the UK because we hear about it every single day.
So what do we do when the people who we rely on to help and advise us don't, and what can we do to protect our cars in the meantime?
Be pro-active, not reactive.
First of all, be armed with the facts. Know your stuff and be prepared before you take the plunge and order your new car.
When you're at the dealership, ask them about their own security and while you're looking around, take a look at their bollards. Tell them you are keen to know more about them and hopefully they will spare you some time and show you how the bollards are raised and lowered.
Understand the manufacturer and do some research to consider what they are doing or are going to do in the future to make their vehicles more secure.
Be aware of the risk to your car and be prepared, look at alternative methods of security, because there are ways to effectively protect your car and it doesn't rely on technology, it relies on good old fashioned steel.
It's all about the bollards.
Since the 17th century, bollards have been used for all manner of purposes. Originally they were developed to secure the ropes on ships and since the 19th century, they were purpose-built to solve all manner of traffic management issues.
Today, they are an effective solution in many access control and vehicle security applications. After all, if thieves can't get your car out of your driveway, why would they even try and steal your car?
This simple fact is so often overlooked. We hear and read tips and advice about all manner of useless precautions, but never hear anyone blowing the trumpet to explain how effective a bollard can be. So we thought we would enlighten you.
A bollard will protect your car - just ask your dealer.
Why do you think dealerships and vehicle forecourts never lose their stock? Why are they not concerned? After all, they stock hundreds of keyless cars and leave them parked outside, unattended for 365 days of the year until they are sold.
The reason they feel secure is that their industry has used telescopic and fixed steel bollards for many years as they have proven to be the most effective long term security solution to protect their stock.
Manufacturers of bollards have built their entire business model on servicing the commercial access control market because they know that a dealership could not operate with them. They go hand in hand. Every problem has a solution, and it was identified a long time ago that a steel bollard would be the answer.
What's good for the goose...
If a dealer is prepared to put their faith in steel bollards to protect thousands of pounds worth of their stock, think of the peace of mind a retractable bollard would give you.
Car dealerships need security and most importantly during the day, an open unobstructed site. They need customers to be able to see their stock, while at the same time they need to able to protect their cars when they are closed.
To solve these requirements, telescopic bollards were designed and built for this purpose. They are built to withstand an impact and block the path of a vehicle, while at the same time, they are designed to be easily raised and lowered in seconds for the times when you don't need them.
Alongside the telescopic bollards, fixed bollards and hoop barriers can also be used on large perimeters to keep the site open but physically secure.
Welcome to driveway security in 2020.
Steel bollards used to be a trade secret, domestic customers were few and far between back in the day because vehicle theft was never as big an issue as it is today, but now more than ever, it is time to take a leaf out of the dealer's book and be prepared. This is where telescopic driveway security was born.
So the next time, you feel anxious about the security of your car, or when you notice some suspicious activity within your street or have heard about the anguish your neighbour has had to go through when they had their car stolen, don't wait to be a victim, take some action, be pro-active, and put your trust in steel.
What are my options?
Go online, source and read up on the best type of telescopic bollards available. See what is readily available and decide which would be the most suitable for your driveway.
The main factor to consider before you make your investment is to ensure the lock in the bollard is up to the job and meets the 'Sold Secure' industry standard.
Don't be tempted by a cheap bollard that has an inferior lock fitted, because this will only be a cheap, short term fix and will come back to haunt you.
Be sure to source a telescopic bollard that has been fitted with the 'Award Winning' 10 pin integral push-button top lock. Anything less than this can and will be compromised by the car thief.
Above all, don't bother with a padlockable bollard, as the padlocks can be cut or smashed off in seconds.
Car thieves are not silly and will know a cheap bollard when they see one. So don't cut corners.
Making the right choice.
With the rise in domestic vehicle theft, the top manufacturers of bollards have recognised there is now a growing market for the domestic customer and they know this demand will not be slowing down any time soon.
As such, they now design and build bollards in all colours and sizes and can even offer you a stylish brushed stainless steel finish for the more contemporary location, so wherever you live, there will be a design to suit your driveway.
Do your homework.
Try and find a supplier who can offer you the option to install the bollard at a small additional cost, as this will save you a lot of work, expense, and hassle, and will also protect the guarantee provided by the manufacturer of the bollard.
Ask them how long have they been trading. Call them to see whether they will give you some free advice and guidance and if their online, take a look at the reviews and if you really want to push it, ask to speak to some of their previous customers or go to see some of their previous work.
Pay attention to the finish of the job. Ask if they left their driveway in a pristine condition or was it a mess when they left. Did they pay attention to the detail, like making sure the finished concrete was dyed to match the colour of their surface.
Finally make sure the bollard they suggest has the locks you want and is manufactured here in the UK, because if you ever need some support or repairs to your bollard, what good is it to you if the manufacturer is based halfway around the world?
Peace of mind.
If you can take all of this on board, and feel inspired to take some action, go get yourself a telescopic bollard.
You will be joining the rising number of people who are now happy to go to bed at night without the worry of waking up in the morning to see their pride and joy is gone.
We talk from experience and care about this issue with a passion.
Having protected the nation's driveways for the past 10 years, and with over 20,000 bollard installations to our name, we can honestly say we have never had the dreaded phone call from any of our customers to tell us that their bollard was compromised and their vehicle was stolen.